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Epilepsy Res. 2001 Jul;46(1):69-82.

Hippocampal and amygdaloid damage in partial epilepsy: a cross-sectional MRI study of 241 patients.

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Department of Neurology, University of Kuopio, P.O. Box 1627, FIN-70211, Kuopio, Finland.


Patients with drug-refractory temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) often have hippocampal and amygdaloid damage. The present study investigated the factors associated with the occurrence and severity of damage in patients with partial epilepsy. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure the volumes of the hippocampus and the amygdala in 241 patients with different durations of epilepsy. We also investigated the association of damage with the location of seizure focus and clinical factors (age at onset of seizures, lifetime seizure number and medical history of complex febrile convulsions, intracranial infection or status epilepticus) with regression analysis. We found that high lifetime seizure number (P<0.05), history of complex febrile convulsions (P<0.01), and age < or = 5 years at the time of the first seizure (P<0.01) were significant risk factors for reduced hippocampal volume in TLE patients. The severity of amygdaloid damage did not differ between TLE patients with different durations of epilepsy or seizure frequency, but complex febrile convulsions (P<0.05) and intracranial infection (P<0.05) were associated with amygdaloid damage. In patients with extratemporal or unclassified partial epilepsy, the hippocampal and amygdaloid volumes did not differ when patients with different durations of epilepsy were compared with controls. The present findings indicate that a high seizure number, the occurrence of complex febrile convulsions, and an early onset of seizures contribute to hippocampal volume reduction in patients with TLE. The data provided have important implications with regard to early and effective management and seizure control in vulnerable patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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